The South Carolina Gamecocks beat the Clemson Tigers 27-17 at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina on Saturday night, before a crowd of more than 82,000 fans. It marked the fourth straight season that South Carolina had beaten their arch-rivals.
Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier picked up his 65th career win at USC to become the winningest football coach in school history, surpassing Rex Enright.
Back-up quarterback Dylan Thompson, filling in for Connor Shaw who sprained his foot last week against Wofford, threw for three touchdowns, and Jadeveon Clowney had four and a half sacks in the Gamecocks victory. Clowney has 13 sacks this year to set a Gamecocks single-season record.
Clemson got on the board first. Tajh Boyd capped a 16-play 85-yard drive with a 3-yard TD run in the first quarter. South Carolina answered with a Thompson to Bruce Ellington 13-yard TD pass to tie the game 7-7. Clemson continued the first quarter fireworks by reclaiming the lead, when Boyd hit DeAndre Hopkins on a 43-yard TD pass to put the Tigers in front 14-7 heading to the second quarter.
South Carolina scored the only points of the second quarter on an Adam Yates 29-yard field goal to cut the Clemson lead to 14-10 at intermission.
The Gamecocks took the lead for good in the third quarter. Thompson hooked up with Ace Sanders on a 34-yard scoring pass to give South Carolina a 17-14 advantage. The teams exchanged field goals to make the score 20-17 heading to the fourth quarter.
South Carolina iced the game with a series of key plays. Mike Davis ripped off a 26 yard run to the Clemson 39 yard line. Later in the drive, on third and 19, Thompson scrambled for 20 yards to the Clemson six yard line. That set the stage for a Thompson to Ellington 6-yard TD strike and gave the Gamecocks a ten point advantage with 4:17 to play in the game.
Clowney had two late sacks on Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, who was held to just 183 yards passing with two interceptions. The Tigers managed only three points over the final three quarters of the game.
Thompson led South Carolina's air show by completing 23 of 41 passes for 310 yards. The Gamecocks offense totaled 444 yards.
The Gamecocks dominated time of possession, holding onto the football for 39:58 to just 20:02 for the Tigers. Clemson had only 59 offensive plays while South Carolina had 86 offensive snaps.
Darlington High product Victor Hampton returned one kickoff for 25 yards. He also made two tackles.
For Clemson, former Loris High star Jonathan "Tig" Willard had nine tackles. Ex-Cheraw High standout Jaron Brown had three catches for 68 yards. Malliciah Goodman, who attended West Florence High, had one tackle with one sack and a forced fumble. Quandon Christian, out of Lake View High, made two tackles.
The Gamecocks finished with 10 wins for a second straight season for the first time in history. Clemson also finished the regular season with a record of 10-2. The loss to South Carolina knocked Clemson out of contention for a BCS Bowl bid.
Clemson still leads the all-time head-to-head series with South Carolina 65-41-4.